Thursday, October 16, 2014

step on a crack...

I haven't posted about M's broken vertebra for awhile because there really hasn't been much of anything going on.... but I thought maybe it was time for an update anyway. (And since a blog post isn't complete without a few photos, I've included some I took this morning while out doing the barn work.)

M's back is still broken, not healing, and extremely painful. It hurts when he breathes now (at times, not all the time thank goodness!) and enough people have made comments connecting a broken back with being paralyzed that, when the pain is bad, M starts to believe he's becoming paralyzed and his anxiety shoots through the roof. :(

Needless to say the whole experience has not been good for his schizophrenia... his psychiatric symptoms have increased as the back pain has gone on... and on... and on.

What's next?

A band-aid.

After his spine doctor admitted to being stumped in terms of what to do next, and took M's case to the weekly spine clinic conference of the medical school spine docs to gather opinions, we decided to start with the least invasive, safest recommendation; inject pain killer into the back to just make sure the pain is coming from the joint itself and not surrounding muscles. Depending on what kind of pain relief M gets, and for how long, the next step will probably be a steroid injection into his vertebra.

Neither of these will fix the break, they are mostly just a band-aid, but might settle things down enough in there for the bone to heal naturally.

If the injections don't help enough, the bone isn't healing and M's in a lot of pain, the next recommendation is surgery... possibly spinal fusion. I'm definitely not sold on that plan, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

So... my boy's still hurting and if I seem distracted at times, it's because he's unstable and hurting which makes for some long days.

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